Elon Musk twitter

Five Things That Happened Last Week (And What To Make Of Them)

Is Big Tech melting down or is it just an opportunity to downsize?

Big Tech made the headlines last week but not for the usual reasons. No, tech giants such as Twitter, Meta (which owns Facebook), Snap, Amazon, and Microsoft, weren’t on a buying spree. Nor were they announcing sensational new breakthroughs in high technology. Instead, they were sacking employees in heaps. It all started after Elon Musk’s rather noisy takeover of Twitter, the social media platform.

Almost immediately after Musk paid some US$44 billion for Twitter and accompanied it with some juvenile antics (he carried a bathroom sink to the company’s headquarters ostensibly to drive home the message: “Let it sink in”) and publicised his dismissal of the company’s four top honchos, Musk sacked half of the 7500 employees that Twitter had worldwide. Then, in a company-wide email, titled A Fork In the Road, he announced that to survive, Twitter employees had to be “hard-core” and keep intensely long hours. Many employees decided to quit, raising apprehensions about Twitter losing the expertise and skills essential to its functioning.

While Musk was creating drama at Twitter (the sackings plus his own histrionics tweeted on the platform itself), elsewhere in the realm of Big Tech, at Meta, which owns Facebook, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to sack 11,000 (or 13%) of Facebook’s employees. The reason cited was operating losses owing to the collapse of its advertising revenues. Both Twitter and Facebook are platforms that depend on advertising for revenues and both have been hit hard by the slowdown, inflation, and depressed consumer demand.

Wait, what? Aren’t those typically travails of brick-and-mortar players, which get hit when inflation rises, demand declines, and the economy turns sluggish. Weren’t digital companies supposed to be resilient and not be affected by that stuff. As it happens, no. Across BIt Tech, companies have been hit hard by economic downtrends.

At Twitter, the sackings may have been motivated by a new owner (one who might well have overpaid for his acquisitions) and his hurry to shore up the bottom line at the company, but at Meta, it was the sort of thing that afflicts old economy companies. Zuckerberg’s company had overinvested in Facebook before the pandemic and the growth that it had expected simply did not materialise. Also, Meta has invested US$36 billion in Metaverse, a networked virtual world where people can live, work, shop, and interact with others, all from the comfort of their homes. Although it sounds awfully like a celebration of sedentary lifestyles, Meta has hugely ambitious plans for it. All of this, however, has meant that Meta’s financial performance has been under pressure. Hence the layoffs.

There is an old economy thing but it seems to hold good for players in the new digital economy equally. When top players in an industry are seen taking measures to cut costs by, for example, downsizing their workforce, often it becomes a cue for others in the same sector to follow suit. It may seem like lemming-like behaviour but it is actually an opportunistic phase when other players can also take the opportunity of cutting costs even if it is not a critical need yet. 

The downsizing we are seeing at Big Tech (besides Twitter and Meta, Amazon and Microsoft have also begun firing large numbers of employees) may be caused by the global recession and sluggish consumer demand but part of it is likely the outcome of companies deciding to use the travails of Twitter and Facebook to do their own downsizing at a convenient juncture when the chances of eyebrows being raised could be low.

Donald Trump hopes to bounce back

In the US, the number of former Presidents who contest presidential elections after being defeated in one is small–four to be precise. Now, Donald Trump is set to add to that list. Last week, Trump announced that he was throwing his hat in the ring in the 2024 elections. Trump lost the last election to Joe Biden by a margin of seven million votes but he has till recently held that the elections were not fair and that victory was “stolen” from him. 

Now, as he kicks off his campaign, he has stopped talking about the unfairness of the elections but has vowed that he wants to make America “great and glorious” again. Trump’s announcement comes after the Republicans failed to register a convincing victory in the 

 midterm elections recently. The Democrats managed to control a majority in the Senate, while the Republicans have a slender majority in the House. 

Still, Trump appears to be the frontrunner among Republican nominees. In the recent past, Trump has outpolled most of his rivals in the party for the primaries. But that might be changing. Among Republican primary voters, support for Trump’s bid for the presidential polls has fallen by 9% in the past three months and at least one poll has found that Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ popularity has grown. 

It is early days though, and the sentiment can change in the coming months. In his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump reiterated his earlier policy of clamping down on immigration, lowering taxes and free trade deals to lift the economy, and of election reforms that include reverting to paper ballots from voting machines. In the coming months, he will likely amp up the rhetoric. How Americans will respond will be interesting to watch.

A most cruel blow to cryptocurrencies

November 2022 will go down as a nightmarish month for investors in cryptocurrencies. It was when FTX, a multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency exchange founded and run by an erstwhile poster boy of the crypto world, Sam Bankman-Fried, collapsed. 

FTX was founded in 2019 and, at its peak in 2021, had over one million users and was the third-largest crypto exchange by volume. In a short period of time, FTX and Bankman-Fried built up a credible reputation and commanded respect. But things began to turn when the founder used funds from the exchange to trade via his own crypto trading company.

Once investors got a whiff of what was happening, a run on the FTX exchange began, it got bankrupted, and overnight, Bankman-Fried turned from hero to villain.

The bigger implication of this is that for the cryptocurrency scene, which is often misunderstood, FTX’s collapse could be a body blow. 

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralised system using cryptography, rather than by a centralised authority. Trust and counter-checks are at the heart of the system if it has to work. A fraud, of the sort that FTX and its founder were involved in, can become a setback from which the crypto market could find it difficult to rebound.

India’s population bomb

The estimated population of India is at present 1.39 billion–Europe has less than 750 million; USA 330 million; and UK 68 million. While China is still the most populous country with 1.41 billion, India is expected to beat China in 2023 and by 2060, India’s population is forecast to soar to 1.65 billion. 

But, like everything else in India, there is a great divide built into the demography of the country. As with development, societal norms, gender equality, and income inequality, which vary between regions of a vast country with wide diversity, India’s population is not growing homogeneously. In the northern states, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the population is growing at a rate much higher than in the southern states. 

While many of the factors that determine the rate of growth of the population depend on literacy, economic progress, and income, what this disparity has meant is that in parts of India the population growth is akin to a baby boom and the average age in those regions is low. But in areas (for instance, in the south) where population growth is slower or even stagnant, the problem could be different–that of an aging population.

For India’s policymakers who already face tasks of diverse complexity because of the vastly different parts of the country, this could pose yet another tough challenge.

Upside downs of abstract art

Piet Mondrian was a Dutch master who was one of the pioneers of 20th-century abstract art. Mondrian died in 1944 at the age of 71 but many of his paintings are prized possessions of galleries and collectors around the world. 

Recently it emerged that a painting by Mondrian may have been hanging upside down for 77 years at various galleries that it has been exhibited in. The painting, New York City 1, is rendered in Mondrian’s characteristic style of geometric vertical and horizontal lines and a German curator only recently realised that it might have been hanging upside down.

Incidentally, it will continue to hang upside down because the 80-year-old work of art is fragile and may be damaged if it is put the right way up.

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shraddha kapoor instagram

It’s Not A, Good Morning For Shraddha

On Thursday, actor Shraddha Kapoor shared a picture of her dog Shyloh and revealed that it’s not a ‘good morning’ for her.

Taking to her Instagram story, Shraddha dropped a picture of her dog along with a caption.
Sharing the picture, she wrote, “Kisne kaha ki aaj ka Morning Good hai?”

Shraddha is quite active on social media. And shares her personal and professional life with her fans and followers.

Recently, Shraddha unveiled her “chashmish” avatar.

“Aaj se main Chashmish Club ki CEO! Kaun kaun join kar raha hai???” Shraddha captioned the post.

The comments section instantly filled up with lots of love and funny comments which even Shraddha responded to. One user commented, “Sunday ho, aur Shraddha koi cute si selfie daalke hume khush na kare, aisa nahi ho sakta”. To which Shraddha commented, “Aur aapke aise pyaare comments se mera din na bane, aisa nahi hosakta”. Director Remo D’Souza and Kiara Advani also dropped by the comments section.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Shraddha recently hogged the limelight with her cameo in Bhediya’s Thumkeshwari. This has again raised the excitement of her fans to watch her in ‘Stree 2’. However, ‘Stree 2’ has not been officially announced yet.

Shraddha will also be seen in Luv Ranjan’s next opposite Ranbir Kapoor, which is all set to release in March, 2023. (ANI)

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Will Expose The Reality Of What Pak Did To Me: Adnan

Singer Adnan Sami, who renounced his Pakistani citizenship and became a citizen of India in 2016, has penned a shocking note on Instagram, criticising the establishment of his former country.

In his Instagram post, he promised to “expose the reality ” of what Pakistan did to him.
He wrote, “Many people ask me why I have such contempt towards Pakistan. The hard truth is that I have absolutely no contempt towards the people of Pakistan who have been good to me. I love everyone who loves me– period. I have major issues with the establishment. Those who truly know me will also know what that establishment did to me for many years which ultimately became one of the big reasons for me to leave Pak.”

“One day, soon, I will expose the reality of how they treated me which not many know, least of all the general public which will shock many! I have remained silent about all this for many years, but will choose the right moment to tell all,” he added.

Adnan’s post has left everyone curious.

“What actually happened? Can’t wait for you to spill the truth,” a social media user commented.

“You can’t imagine how much we love you, Sir. I wish you were here in Pakistan, working with your son Azaan and doing concerts everywhere together. I’m sure there must be some very serious issue that forced you to leave Pak. But always remember, you have your true fans here, who love you soo much and listen to your music since the beginning,” another one wrote.

Adnan was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, in 2020. (ANI)

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Raveena Special Wish Juhi

Raveena Shares Special Wish For Her ‘Ju’

Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla turned a year older today. On this occasion, her friend and actor Raveena Tondon penned down a sweet birthday wish along with beautiful pictures depicting their bond.

Taking to her Instagram, Raveena dropped a series of pictures along with a birthday wish.
In the pictures, both the actor could be seen having fun and enjoying the company of each other whether it’s a shoot, an award function, or any other occasion both were seen smiling and posing for the camera.

Along with the pictures, she wrote, “Happpy Haaapppppyyy Birthday my darling Ju! @iamjuhichawla May your infectious laughter, lighten up our days always! Many many years of love and Happiness!”

Raveena is one of them who calls the birthday girl Ju. Earlier, Juhi revealed, “there are only 3 people in the world who call me Ju. Raveena is one of them..!!”.

Juhi is married to industrialist Jay Mehta. They also have a son, Arjun.

She was last seen in the 2019 film, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga with Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Sonam Kapoor, and Regina Cassandra.

She catapulted to stardom with films like ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, ‘Darr’, ‘Ishq’, ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke’, and ‘Yes Boss’, among others.

However, besides acting Juhi is also an entrepreneur and a person who always stands for what’s right and helps out her friends in need. (ANI)

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Madonna Eerie Video

Madonna Shares Eerie Video Of Licking Water Out Of Dog Bowl

American singer and songwriter Madonna, who has been making fans howl with scandalous social media posts, has shared a video in which she seemingly licks water out of a dog bowl.

According to Fox News, Madonna took to Instagram and shared a series of risque photos and videos, as she donned a neon green furry top with sparkling black shorts and fishnets.
In it, the 64-year-old singer is seen getting on all fours and drinking out of a dog bowl with a blurry effect as the song ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, by The Stooges is playing in the background.

She’s also seen sprawled out on the ground next to the dog bowl in her latest tricks, pretending to “play dead.” Another bizarre photo showed her squatting with a bottle of hot sauce underneath, reported Fox News.

She captioned the post, “Garage Band……….” with four water gun emojis, as she posed in what appeared to be a warehouse or garage.

Madonna shared another eerie video on her social media where she was seen staring into the camera in a close-up shot while in a dark car.

The ‘Like a Prayer’ singer has recently been in the spotlight for continuing to share outrageous photos and videos of herself.

As per Fox News, rapper 50 Cent has been among the ones to be vocal about his opinions on Madonna’s posts, as he called her out on Instagram for being “pathetic” and stated that one of her videos “truly disturbs” his “spirit.” (ANI)

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Elon Musk On Twitter

Elon Musk On Twitter: Will Do Lots Of Dumb Things

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and self-described “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” on Wednesday announced that the social media giant will do a lot of dumb things in the coming months on a trial and error basis.

“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in the coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t,” Musk tweeted. “Complaint hotline operator online! Please mention your complaints below,” he added.

Since completing the Twitter deal, the wealthiest man on the planet has made a flurry of decisions impacting the working of the social media giant that has millions of daily active users.

These tweets came after Twitter started labeling Indian government handles and Indian media as “official” ahead of the roll-out of blue tick subscriptions across the country.

In the Twitter handles of various Indian government organizations, the “official” label was noticed. For example, Prime Minister’s Office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official Twitter account, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s Twitter account also have the “official label”.

This follows Twitter’s decision to roll out a second verification label to limit confusion between legitimate accounts and those that pay for their blue ticks.

Twitter’s executive Esther Crawford said verified accounts will now come with an “Official” label beneath their username, complete with a grey verification checkmark, New York Post reported.

She said that the label will help the users to distinguish between official accounts and the Twitter Blue subscription, which is taking over the blue check previously used for verified accounts.

“Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” New York Post quoted Crawford as saying.

Official pages will be designated for “government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some public figures,” she added.

A Reuters report said Elon Musk’s net worth has dropped below USD 200 billion as investors dumped Tesla’s shares on fears that the top executive and largest shareholder of the world’s most valuable electric-vehicle maker is more preoccupied with Twitter.

So far this year, data showed that Tesla shares have declined over 50 percent. (ANI)

Ranveer Singh Wants A Kiss

Family Drama: Ranveer Singh Wants A Kiss From Deepika

When it comes to PDA, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh know how to catch everyone’s attention with their flirty comments for each other on social media.

On Wednesday, Deepika, who made her Bollywood debut with ‘Om Shanti Om, completed 15 years in the Hindi film industry.

Marking the special occasion, Deepika took to Instagram and posted an artsy video of herself. Without revealing many details, her video read, “It’s time to look East.” Sharing the mystery post, the actor teased her fans and wrote, “#staytuned.”

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CkvX3WausPE/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Deepika’s post left her fans curious. “Are you coming up with a new movie?” a fan asked in the comment section. “I feel she is going to launch her brand,” another one wrote.

However, it was Deepika’s husband Ranveer’s comment that hogged all the limelight. “It’s time to give me a kiss,” Ranveer commented.

Deepika and Ranveer tied the knot in November 2018 after dating for six long years and the couple never fail to shower love on each other.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Deepika will be seen sharing screen space with Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Pathaan’, which also stars John Abraham. The action drama is set to hit the theatres on January 25, 2023. Deepika will be also seen in ‘The Intern’ alongside Amitabh Bachchan and in a Pan-India film ‘Project-K’ along with south actor Prabhas. She also has ‘Fighter’ with Hrithik Roshan in her kitty.

Ranveer, on the other hand, will be next seen in director Rohit Shetty’s upcoming comedy film ‘Cirkus’ alongside Jacqueline Fernandez and Pooja Hegde. The film is all set to hit the theatres on the occasion of Christmas 2022.

Apar from that, he also has director Karan Johar’s next ‘Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ alongside Alia Bhatt, Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi. (ANI)

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Musk's Reply Over Blue Tick

Feedback Appreciated, Now Pay: Musk’s Reply To US Politician Over Blue Tick

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk never leaves a chance to give a befitting reply to his critics.

As he is currently facing backlash over his decision to charge Twitter users USD 8 per month to get a verified account, the Tesla CEO is making sure to reply to his trollers and critic with an epic response.
US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently took a dig at Elon Musk over the blue tick fee.

In her tweet, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech is actually a USD 8/mo subscription plan.”

Replying to Alexandria, Elon reiterated his stance on the blue tick fee and quipped, “Your feedback is appreciated, now pay USD 8.”

Musk’s response left many netizens in splits.

“Savage,” a social media user commented.

“Oh My God! Musk is epic,” another one wrote.

In April, Twitter accepted Musk’s proposal to buy and make the social media service private. However, Musk soon began sowing doubt about his intentions to follow through with the agreement, alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose the number of spam and fake accounts on the service.

In July, in a surprising turn of events, Musk who had long been showing his interest to buy Twitter terminated the deal. The Tesla CEO did so by alleging that Twitter violated their mutual purchase agreement by misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform.

After Musk put out the deal termination announcement, the market saw a sharp decline. Later, Twitter sued Musk accusing him of using bots as a pretext to exit a deal. Again, last week, Musk confirmed that he would move forward with the Twitter buyout at the originally agreed price of USD 54.20 per share. (ANI)

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Ranbir’s Little Doppelganger Leaves Internet Stunned

The Internet never fails to amaze us. Recently, netizens have found actor Ranbir Kapoor’s doppelganger, and that too in a little boy.

A video of the little boy who has an uncanny resemblance to the ‘Brahmastra’ actor has gone viral on social media. The clip was shared on Instagram by a user named Nirav Bhatt. He describes himself as a child model and even claimed that his loved ones call him Little Ranbir Kapoor.
In the short clip, Nirav is seen doing the “Mujhe Nahi Aata Hai, Mujhse Mat Pucho Na” trend on Instagram.

The internet couldn’t really get over his uncanny resemblance to the Brahmastra actor.

Reacting to Nirav’s images and videos, a social media user commented, “Ranbir ka bachpan.”

“Ditto copy,” another one wrote.

“Oh My God! He looks exactly like Ranbir,” a netizen wrote.

Speaking of Ranbir, he is currently expecting his first child with his wife Alia Bhatt. Alia and Ranbir tied the knot on April 14, 2022, after dating for many years, at Ranbir’s Mumbai residence in an intimate ceremony. After two months of their marriage, the couple in June announced that they are all set to embrace parenthood.

Alia posted a picture that featured two lions and a lion cub. A day after announcing her pregnancy, Alia thanked everyone for their wishes.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Ranbir is busy shooting for ‘Animal’. He also has Luv Ranjan’s rom-com in the kitty. (ANI)

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Salman Khan Break From Bigg Boss

Salman Down With Dengue, Takes Break From Bigg Boss

If reports are to be believed, superstar Salman Khan has been diagnosed with dengue.

A source informed ANI that Salman has not been keeping well and has taken a brief break from hosting ‘Bigg Boss’. However, the source did not confirm his dengue diagnosis.
After learning about Salman’s ill health, fans flooded social media with “get well soon” messages.

“Get well soon Bhai. Take care,” a netizen wrote on Twitter.

“Get well soon Bhai, our prayers are with you,” a fan tweeted.

“Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope you come back fitter,” another one wrote.

Filmmaker Karan Johar has stepped in to host the 16th season of ‘Bigg Boss’ for a while. Besides Bigg Boss, Salman was also busy shooting for his film ‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’.

‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’ is scheduled to release on Eid 2023. It is billed as an action-packed entertainer directed by Farhad Samji and also features Pooja Hegde and Venkatesh Daggubati in lead roles. Shehnaaz Gill and Palak Tiwari are also a part of the project.

The film is produced by Salman Khan Films and promises to have all the elements that one expects of a Salman Khan Film – action, comedy, drama, romance, and emotions.

Recently, Salman also announced that his film ‘Tiger 3’ with Katrina Kaif will be out on Diwali 2023. (ANI)

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